Georges Rouault: Cirque Forain

General information

Oct. 6, 2012 – Dec. 16, 2012
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Admittance until 5:30 p.m.)
Every Wednesday
Adults: ¥800   Students (College): ¥600   Students (High / Middle school): ¥200
Visitors aged 65 or over carrying proof of age: ¥700
Groups of 20 or more are subject to a ¥100 discount per person(not including those aged 65 or over).
Admission is free for children in primary school and younger.
Admission is free for disability passbook holders and up to one accompanying adult.
Panasonic Shiodome Museum, The Tokyo Shimbun
Embassy of France, Minato Ward Board of Education
Special Cooperation
The Rouault Foundation
Air France, Asahi Breweries

Click here for directions to the Museum

About the exhibition

The circus plays a thematic role in about a third of George Rouault's works. In all of history, there has never been an artist whose work has been so focused on this particular theme.

His portraits of various circus figures, especially clowns, have earned him the reputation as the greatest painter of clowns. Rouault was not unique in the depiction of such subjects, as can be attested by works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and other modern artists. What sets him apart is the reason he pursued this theme. He was particularly drawn to cheap circuses in out-of-the-way areas and run-down traveling circuses, and by presenting the pitiful figures he encountered, he attempted to depict human nature the way he saw it.

"We are all clowns," Rouault once said, and it is clear his clowns symbolize those who suffer in a deeply sinful society. Through his clowns, Rouault explored human suffering and despair, even as he depicted the grace and love that his subjects sought out to find respite from such a world.

Thanks to the special cooperation of the Paris-based Rouault Foundation, the Museum has gathered together some of the most important circus-themed paintings and etchings in Rouault's oeuvre, spanning his entire career. Other items on display here for the first time include circus posters and programs actually seen by Rouault, as well as newspaper and magazine articles and postcards from his time. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to connect the dots between Rouault's worldview and circus and cabaret culture from the late 19th to the early 20th century, so that visitors may come to better understand why Rouault repeatedly depicted circus figures.

Events / Seminars

【Guided tours】

(No preregistration required; in Japanese only)

  • Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 7
  • Tours begin at 2 p.m. and last for about an hour.
  • Please gather at the Panasonic Shiodome Museum entrance.

【Goro Yamada Art Talk】

reservations closed

Goro Yamada, host of BS NTV's popular Bura Bura Bijutsu Hakubutsukan (Wandering around art galleries and museums), will give a casual talk on Rouault and his contemporaries.
Nov. 2, 2012
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Doors open at 1 p.m.)
Free (Exhibition ticket holders only.) (Preregistration required. Up to 200 admitted.)
Fifth Floor Hall, Panasonic Tokyo Shiodome Bldg.

» Preregistration

【Circus Workshop】

reservations closed

Nov. 10, 2012
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
Free (Exhibition ticket holders only.) (Preregistration required. Up to 200 admitted.)
First Floor Hall, Panasonic Tokyo Shiodome Bldg.

» Preregistration

【Slideshow Presentation】

reservations closed

December. 1, 2012
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. (Doors open at 12:30 p.m.)
Free (Exhibition ticket holders only.) (Preregistration required. Up to 200 admitted.)
Fifth Floor Hall, Panasonic Tokyo Shiodome Bldg.

» Preregistration

◆ Preregistration ◆

Those who wish to attend activities and presentations offered by the museum may preregister through one of the following methods.

(A)Through the Shiodome Museum website, via the following links (in Japanese only):
Preregistration is open until Sept. 29.
(B)By postcard.
You will need to include the following information: @ The activity or presentation name A Number attending (Up to 2 per postcard) B Your name C Your address D Your phone and (if applicable) fax number
Please address all cards to: Georges Rouault Exhibition Staff Panasonic Shiodome Museum 1-5-1-4F Higashi-Shimbashi Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cards must be postmarked no later than Sept. 29.

Spots are available on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, contact us at 03-5770-8600.

  • ※ Any personal information submitted as part of the preregistration process will only be used for organizational purposes for the presentation, and will be destroyed after the event.
  • ※By submitting personal information as part of the preregistration process, you agree that the Museum may use said information for the above-mentioned organizational purposes.

【Special "I ♥ PARIS" offer courtesy of Panasonic Shiodome Museum and Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum】

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum discount

Visitors are encouraged to keep their ticket stubs for the "Georges Rouault: Cirque Forain" exhibition, as presenting it at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum ticket counter will entitle them to a \100 discount for the Chardin retrospective being held there until Jan. 6, 2013. (Normal admission: \1,500 for adults, \1,000 for college and high school students, and \500 for middle and primary school students)

Panasonic Shiodome Museum discount

Adults and college students presenting a ticket stub for the Chardin retrospective being held at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum will be entitled to a \100 discount for the "Georges Rouault: Cirque Forain" exhibition. (Normal admission: \800 for adults and \600 for college students)